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Masterplanning: Tips for Project Managers

Masterplanning: Tips for Project Managers

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Published by Jon Herbert
Short precis of presentation establishing some key tips for project managers responsible for masterplanning projects.
Short precis of presentation establishing some key tips for project managers responsible for masterplanning projects.

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Published by: Jon Herbert on Sep 08, 2012
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09/11/2012

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 JHP
masterplans:
ps for project managersa précis
06/01 JHP Arcles, March 2010
 
 JHP JHP
masterplans:
ps for project managers - a précisI was recently invited to make a presentaonestablishing a series of ‘top ps’ for projectmanagers to consider when preparing masterplans.This brochure is a précis of that presentaon.
great masterplanning!
The presentaon was aimed primarily at thoseproject managers working in the masterplanningeld. However, its messages are equally applicableacross a range of specialisms in the planning sector.It is by no means comprehensive, though does actas a handy reference guide.Great masterplanning is at the heart of the planningprocess, and parcularly so given the move towardsa spaal planning approach over the last few years.Cabe have published numerous documents onthe subject, including the client guide to creangsuccessful masterplans and the series of designreviewed documents. Tip one for project managersis to familiarise yourselves with this guidancematerial: Cabe and/or the local design review panelwill be interested in the masterplan at some stageso it is worth keeping abreast of best pracce.
what is the end goal?
It is important to understand what you arepreparing and why, for example, whether you arepreparing a masterplan that will be adopted as partof the LDF, whether you are preparing a site capacityassessment for valuaon purposes, or whether youare working towards a planning applicaon. Thisis relevant because although all of these outputswill involve masterplanning, they do imply dierentapproaches, parcularly in terms of the nal shapeand structure of the documents and drawingsprepared, the consultaon undertaken and theoverall programme for the work. Understandingthe output at an early stage will help you tailor theprogramme and the dierent specialisms requiredto complete the work (see below).As an example, the level of detail presented in thenal output may vary according to what it is youare producing. You’ll need to go into a fair amountof detail in all masterplanning work but, if yourmasterplan is for an SPD, you might want to takea step back from the detail in the nal document.You’ll want to know that building typologies,footprints, layouts, heights, streets and spaces work,and these should be explored and tested throughthe course of the masterplan. In the nal outputthough, stepping back and presenng a broadstructure and set of guiding principles will thenprovide architects and developers with the exibilityto take the work through to the next stage of detail.If working towards a planning applicaon, youshould be aware if you are subming a fullapplicaon, whether it is an outline applicaon withreserved maers, and if so, what is being reservedand what supporng statements and assessmentsare required. These may depend on the size andscale of the applicaon.
 
 JHP JHP
get the right team!
Knowing what your output is will help shape theteam needed for the work. Specialist inputs willmost likely be needed, to help shape the masterplanor to help jusfy the planning raonale for anapplicaon.Importantly, your specialists need to be integratedinto the wider project team from the outset,allowing you to work alongside each other toidenfy constraints at an early stage and thus whatthe soluons might be. This will help to deliver asuccessful design response, as opposed to having toretrot work at a later stage if the team isn’t fullyengaged at the start: this could lead to aborvework and an unsasfactory design soluon.When working on a planning applicaon, the 1APPform and Council checklist will help you to idenfywhat you need to submit and thus what skills arerequired for this: it may necessitate expert advice onood risk, tree surveys, waste and ulies amongstothers.Also useful in terms of applicaons is making surethe legal team is able to provide you with the rightdetails up front, in terms of the red line boundary,site ownerships and leases etc. Beware thatmisinformaon could cause headaches later on: itcould call for a redesign and serving of noces.
build relaonships
Once the team is in place you’ll want to build andmaintain good relaonships, which will help withthe smooth running of the project. So, keep peopleinformed and meet with the project team on aregular basis.Of fundamental importance will be your externalrelaonships, parcularly with your client. Seethem as part of the project team and involve themthroughout the life of the project. Meet at keystages and discuss key planning and design issues.Design reviews are a great way of involving thewhole team, subjecng the work to peer reviewand hearing a whole range of views and opinions.This can also help you when it comes to explainingvarious opons and the evoluon of the preferredapproach - through a Design & Access Statement forexample.When working on applicaons you’ll also want tobuild good relaonships with the case ocer andDevelopment Management team: this will helpbuild a common understanding of the applicaon,the primary planning arguments and any issuesthat need aenon to help achieve a successfuloutcome.
creave, inspired, transformaonal
So, with all the above in place, the team can thendo what it does best. Masterplanning is a crucialmeans for bringing about physical regeneraon:successful masterplans can help improve the qualityof life, raise aspiraons, provide greater choice andopportunity. Great masterplanning should havethe power to inspire, they should be visionary,with clear aims and objecves. They should createaracve places for people to live, work and enjoy.They also need to be forward thinking and put inplace the foundaons for future change.
respond to local issues and identy
However, masterplans should avoid imposingsoluons on a place. Rather, they should respondto local character and issues, reecng wider social,economic and environmental issues as idenedthrough the producon of an evidence base andthrough responses to consultaon.

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